By 84-0, Okla. House backs traditional marriage
OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) — Much of the nation might be embracing gay marriage, but the Oklahoma legislature isn’t going along — and it wants the U.S. Supreme Court to notice.
By a vote of 84-0, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday (April 8) supporting traditional marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which is before the court.
The vote highlights the geographical divide over gay marriage. The South and the nation’s heartland tend to have more conservative positions on the issue, while the Northeast and West Coast states have more liberal beliefs.
“The Oklahoma Legislature reaffirms its commitment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman and urges the United States Supreme Court to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act and the right of states to regulate marriage,” the resolution reads.
Although there were no votes opposing the resolution, about half of the Democrats — including Minority Leader Scott Inman — walked out prior to the vote, according to the Associated Press. But the other half of the Democratic caucus stayed and supported it. Republicans control the chamber.
The eight-paragraph resolution says “marriage is the building block upon which our society is based. It asserts that marriage “is a power reserved to the states that lies within the domain of state legislatures and not with the judicial branch of government.”
It also notes that “Oklahoma voters expressed their collective intent to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman by approving” a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man, one woman. Oklahoma passed it in 2004 and is one of 30 states with such an amendment.
The resolution, which now goes to the Oklahoma Senate, asks that a copy be given to President Obama, Vice President Biden and the Oklahoma congressional delegation.
The Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of California Proposition 8 and a section of the Defense of Marriage Act. If both are overturned, gay marriage could be legalized in all 50 states.